Tom is a restless innovator who works mainly in lighting, accessories and furniture. From his departure point in the early eighties welding salvaged steel into radical furniture, he has constantly reinvented himself through a series of different design lives – working with luxury Italian goods with Cappellini, Creative Director at Habitat and Artek, creating Plastics company Eurolounge and finally instigating his own eponymous brand in 2002 to rethink the product designer’s relationship with industry.

The latest chapter of Tom’s design journey began in 2002 when he left corporate life to create his own eponymous brand as a platform for a series of new adventures in the design of products and interiors. 

15 years on, Tom Dixon is now a widely celebrated global force in interior design with our own hubs in New York, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Our 600 products range from lighting to furniture, from tableware through to fragrance and are distributed in over 65 countries; they are instantly recognisable for their sculptural qualities and engineered materiality. 

Our interior architecture facility, Design Research Studio, conceives the interiors and exteriors of tomorrow. Rich in narrative, we nurture a fast-growing international portfolio that ranges from hospitality and retail to co–working spaces and monumental complexes.

HISTORY

2000

ROYALTY & SILVERWARE Tom receives the Order of the British Empire for services to Innovation and Design.

2002

“Now, with a fresh and eponymous company, I start on a new phase and the main challenges remain the same: balancing risk and ambition in design with economics of production and sales; searching from the new and learning from the old; tackling all the usual questions that come up like aesthetic pleasure versus utility and sustainability, durability versus disposability, best practice with advanced technologies and unorthodox materials and, most unpredictably of all, what people might actually like enough to spend their hard-earned cash on.”

COMPANY ESTABLISHED The Tom Dixon brand is founded in London and production starts on a line of extruded plastic products, Fresh Fat.

2003

INTERIOR DESIGN EXPERTISE The interior design division is established as Design Research Studio to deliver high concept interiors,

architectural design and large scale installations under the creative direction of Tom Dixon.

2004

“The story I tell about this light, which half embroiders the truth, half post-rationalizes, is that after spending several years at Habitat in charge of editing, commissioning and reworking many thousands of designs a year, when I finally decided to leave I felt immense design fatigue and set about creating an anti-design product. The idea was to produce a completely spherical, highly mirrored object that would reflect its surroundings, and so would be, in my imagination anyway, chameleon-like and therefore invisible. A terrible then happens. Rather than vanishing into its environment as anticipated, it does the opposite, which is to be ultra-visible, showy, and as they say in France, bling-bling. The net result was that in the flashy part of the noughties it became a big success, despite betraying its original conception.”

MIRROR BALL

MIRROR BALL “Rather than vanishing into its environment as anticipated, Mirror Ball does the opposite, which is to be ultra-visible, showy, and as they say in France, bling-bling.”

ARTEK “Managing Artek for five years was a happy by-product of our collaboration with the Swedish company Proventus. Our tenure there as managers and part-owners culminated in a series of initiatives in sustainability, neutral materials and heritage.”

Seeking investment for his eponymous brand a deal is cut with Proventus, some shares swapped and Tom becomes part owner and Creative Director of the iconic Finnish furniture company Artek. The development of the company is initiated with a variety of projects including collaborations with Eero Arnio, the putting back into production of Alvar Aalto’s lighting collections, the recycling project Second Cycle and pavilions with Shiguru Ban.

COPPER SHADEA

2005

COPPER SHADEA result of Tom’s fascination with the high-tech process of vacuum metallization commonly used in sunglasses.

“After three decades of needs-must exploration at every scale of production, I have made objects using many dozens of different techniques, from ancient methods of casting or stamping metal to high-tech processes such as thin-film vacuum metallization.”

POLYSTYRENE CHAIR GRAB “Making a polystyrene chair has given me the opportunity to fulfil an ambition to make design available to all; this time literally, by giving away hundreds of these chairs to Londoners with absolutely no chains attached.”

POLYSTYRENE CHAIR GRAB
RUBBER BAND CHAIR

RUBBER BAND CHAIR In a failed attempt to create the world’s longest seating, Tom Dixon built a 75m-long rubber band stretch system made from 12,000 super-size rubber bands in Trafalgar Square, London.

2006

BEAT LIGHTS “I was involved in an initiative in Jaipur to create alternative possibilities for the rapidly vanishing craftsmen and their skills, and the Beat Light was born from that project.”

BEAT LIGHTS

In 2004 Tom Dixon was involved in an initiative in the city of Jaipur to create alternative possibilities for the rapidly vanishing craftsmen and their skills. The Beat light was born from that project, created by the renowned artisan craftsmen of Moradabad in Northern India. The production of Beat, imitating the basic proportions and techniques of the traditional brass work, but targeting a different functionality, keeps part of the craft alive. The interior of each piece bears the beaten marks of its making, spun brass, braised and beaten by hand. Each piece is unique and a testament to a time-consuming and centuries old process – it can take up to 4 days to make one light. Black Beat launch 2005.

2007

CRACKING THE STATES Our New York office and distribution centre opens, taking Tom Dixon to an American audience and kick starting our global ambition.

SHOREDITCH HOUSE

Juxtaposed with the concrete industrial backdrop, a series of rich and distinct spaces were curated to provide club members with a luxurious yet social environment. The iconoclastic style of the studio is shown to its full extent in this unique landmark venue in London’s edgy Shoreditch. Design Research Studio created several distinct spaces to provide members with everything they could want, including a roof top pool, a formal square bar; a domestic dining hall and a lounge filled with rich upholstery. These sociable spaces are connected by corridors decorated with rough timber, found on the site during construction.

SHOREDITCH HOUSE
FLAME-CUT

2008

FLAME-CUT “The idea with Flame-Cut furniture was to recreate ephemeral typologies of normally flat or fold-able items, such as poolside sun loungers, in the most heavyweight and indestructible material material possible.”

2010

BATCH ZERO

BATCH ZERO “We have set up an underwater BIOROCK production plant in the Bahamas, and have successfully grown some chairs and tables over the last three years.”

DOCK KITCHEN

Home to the internationally acclaimed chef, Stevie Parle, the Dock Kitchen features many Tom Dixon products in this extraordinary setting. Originally a Victorian waste transfer station and subsequently Virgin Records HQ, the Wharf Building is now home to the internationally acclaimed Dock Kitchen from Stevie Parle. The restaurant is seen as an extension to the Tom Dixon showroom featuring furniture and lighting and complemented by other experimental designs, finishes and prototypes. By putting new products to the test in a working kitchen and restaurant means they can be launched with confidence.

2013

ADIDAS X TOM DIXON” There’s no point in me trying to be a fashion designer. It’s not what these collaborations are about. What it is for me is sort of entering a new universe without any preconception.”

2014

MONDRIAN LONDON

Our Studio takes on the design of hotel rooms, bar, lobby and restaurant at Sea Containers House in London.

MONDRIAN HOTEL

January 2014

We’re proud to announce the opening of Mondrian Hotel in London. Design Research Studio created the interiors for the hotel which hails from New York.

With 359 bedrooms, two bars, one restaurant, a spa and a cinema this is Design Research Studio’s biggest project to date and allowed the studio to explore a wide range of environments, Tom explains:

‘For us a Hotel is a dream job – it allows to work in so many different typologies – Spas and Bars, restaurants and bedrooms, conference rooms and corridors. The idea that we can create a complete universe that people can live in for a night or a week, what’s not to like?’

The building itself was designed by American architect Warren Platner in the 1970s. Originally designed as a luxury hotel, the building’s brief was never fulfilled and it instead was occupied as office.

Among these was a shipping company ‘Sea Container’ from which the building now draws its name. This maritime history and the Anglo-American relationship between Design Research Studio and Morgans Hotel Group, form the design inspiration for the project. Drawing on the theme of a transatlantic cruise liner for inspiration, Tom touched on the inspiration behind the hotel:

‘We thought that the transatlantic liners of the golden period of cruisers was a fitting departure point, we wanted the rooms to have a feeling of a cabin, with everything fitted, compact and properly thought through. We made a

massive intervention to the arrival sequence with a massive structure inspired by a ship’s hull piercing through from the outside canopy into the lobby and right through past the elevators into the restaurant, all clad with copper.’

2015

MELT With Melt, our experiments in the technologically advanced field of vacuum metallisation takes on a new twist.

THE CINEMA At Salone del Mobile, Milan. At Milan Design Week we took over an abandoned theatre in central Milan to launch our 2015 collection, showcasing our latest designs to 17,000 visitors over six days. Here are some of the highlights. We launched our new collection– including Melt, Lens, Wingback, Cog & Spun – against the monumental backdrop of our specially created Cinema.

MULTIPLEX The pop-up department store of the future, Selfridges London. At Multiplex Tom Dixon and our carefully chosen collaborators created a new kind of retail space – where powerful experiences, bespoke services and unique products came together. The result was part festival, part performance, part workshop, part playground and part laboratory: An immersive, multi-sensory department store of tomorrow.

HIMITSU, ATLANTA

First State-side hospitality project for Design Research Studio.

2016

THE RESTAURANT
At Salone del Mobile, Milan.

AMERICAN ADVENTURE In a landscape dominated by professional showrooms and multi-brand retailing chains, we have made the choice to evade the status quo.

2017

THE VETERANS Initially manufactured in Tom’s London metalwork shop many moons ago – and subsequently under license for 20 years of Italian production – these instantly recognisable designs are finally brought back home.

THE VETERANS
SUPER TEXTURE

SUPER TEXTURE After years of shiny metallics we’ve finally gone a little bit soft. SUPER TEXTURE is our first foray into weaving, sewing and embellishing where we look at extreme textures of velvets, boucles and knits.

NEW SHOP IN HONG KONG

May 2017

With an acceleration of interest for our work in this region, 52 Hollywood Road emerges as the new epicentre of our latest expansion in Asia. 

The two-storey showroom showcases a curated collection of our core collection where charred timber cladding and grey marble fixtures compliment the concrete floor and walls, and serve as a fitting backdrop to our metallic tones of copper,brass and chrome.

The ground floor, on one of Hong Kong’s busiest retail stretches, offers a veritable Aladdin’s cave of home accessories. From bold table-top architecture to the scent of London itself, the copper cave houses a cabinet of Tom Dixon curiosities.

Designed to engage and encourage interaction, shoppers are also invited to explore the versatility of our collection through a plug and play lighting track, and the designers tool box engineered to demonstrate finishes, colour and fabric options.

The café, operated by Nodi, offers a selection of artisanal coffee, small snacks and the perfect place to slow down, soak in the latest ideas in furniture, accessories and lighting whether you are an architect or just a design enthusiast .

As our second monobrand in the eastern hemisphere, 52 Hollywood road represents an exciting partnership with A Matter of Design and the launch pad for many extraordinary adventures in Asia.

LE DRUGSTORE, PARIS

22nd June 2017

Situated at the very top of the Champs-Élysées, the brasserie at Publicis Drugstore has been one of Paris’ revolutionary hotspots for more than 60 years and now becomes Design Research Studio’s latest project in the French capital.

2018

HACKING IKEA

Tom Dixon gets into bed with the biggest furniture company in the world to create a durable, transformable platform for living

IKEA & Tom Dixon design DELAKTIG open-source platform

THE HACKS We’ve produced heavy-weight task lamps, coffee tables and magazine racks that can be clamped, slotted or bolted on at will, to mutate the sofa into a work or entertainment space. Made of substantial and durable aluminium plate the hacks are robust enough to last a lifetime. We’ve also collaborated with Bemz who specialize in soft hacks to produce three luxe covers that elevate the IKEA frame into a luxury unit – from Shower-proof stripes to an Icelandic sheepskin mono-cover known as ‘The Beast’.All allowing you to pimp your IKEA bed.

Salome Issue 18PE0001